Long And Low At the Hot Rod Show – with Fuji and Nikon and Metz


Long And Low At the Hot Rod Show – with Fuji and Nikon and Metz

The great experiment conducted over the six months regarding a camera for hot rod photography has yielded results. The Fuji/Nikon/Metz lash-up does pretty near everything that the Nikon/Nikon/ Stroboframe outfit did, and it does it easily enough that an old guy can carry it round in the sun all day.

If I am prepared to carry a second Nikon SB 700 on a little Manfrotto stand I can get great illustration of the front grille and the side panel of even the long cars. Of course, if you are dealing with something white like the ’59 Impala you can get a lot more value out of those flashes.

How does this help you? If you are going to go out and climb Bluff Knoll with a camera kit bouncing in your backpack, consider whether you want that camera kit to weigh 3.5 Kg or 1 Kg. It’s your back going up and it’s your back coming down, and it’s your back sitting in the chiropractor’s waiting room…And those of you who have spent a fortnight on Ibruprofen and Voltaren can back me up…

Also consider whether you need to go to a shoot with 5 lenses. I used to do just this in the dear dead Hasselblad wedding days. Everything in the HB box including the 250mm tele lens in case the bride escaped and I needed to shoot her before she got over the horizon…My assistant, Igor, used to hump the bag and the tripod and the extra flashes and the film and the bag of rocks…( I never actually told him about the bag of rocks…) and never complained. Fainted occasionally, but never complained.

Eventually I discovered that I was using two lenses for the whole wedding. An 80mm and a 50mm, and the 50 only came out of the massive case for 5 exposures. I eventually rationalised the whole thing by leaving out half of the glass and most of the fancy little accessories. It freed up a lot of space in the case…for more rocks.

That is history – the Hasselblad outfit is long retired and recently sold, and the new owners can risk their vertebrae at their leisure. Weddings still need extra gear for back-up safety, but this can be hauled in a roller bag. Lithium AA cells power all three flashes and these are light weight. Igor looks healthier, and after-shoot processing is so much faster.

I still pack a bag of rocks but these are only in case the bride proves sluggish. And I never throw rocks at hot rod shows. Some things are sacred, you know…

Moral of this tale: Buy right, pack light, allow for wind direction when throwing rocks.

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